Home-made mozzarella: why should I try it?
Cheese is one of the most popular foods that all of us love! It is popular everywhere in the world and each country has its own trends in cheesemaking. Today we will focus on one of the most popular Italian cheeses — mozzarella. Although it is widespread, and we can buy it in nearly every shop across Europe and the whole world, it is also possible to produce it at home. The entire procedure takes roughly 30 minutes and the cheese always tastes delicious! Discover why should you try to make mozzarella at home and what ingredients and utensils are needed in order to form a perfect cheese ball!
Types of mozzarella
Mozzarella is an Italian cheese originating from southern Italy. It is traditionally made from Italian buffalo’s milk and usually sold in two basic forms: soaked in brine or whey. The cheese owes its popularity to products such as pizza, lasagne or caprese salad. Mozzarella can also differ in terms of milk and several variants are available on the market. The most popular of them are part-skim cheese made of cow’s milk and traditional mozzarella di bufala campana. There are also some mozzarella variants based on sheep’s and goat’s milk.
Milk for mozzarella
Although mozzarella originates from Italy, it is now one of the most recognizable types of cheese on the international market. It is a basic ingredient of caprese salad, many types of pasta, lasagne and of course pizza! The secret of preparing mozzarella lies in milk. While choosing one, be sure it is not ultra-pasteurized. If you have access to fresh farm milk, don’t hesitate and go for it. If you want your home-made cheese to be wet and flavourful, avoid low-fat milk.
Ingredients and equipment (Option 1)
Once you have bought milk for your home-made mozzarella, don’t forget to prepare citric acid, rennet and table salt. Prepare some kitchen utensils such as knife, spoon, bowl, colander, cheesecloth and a food thermometer. Firstly, prepare 1/4 teaspoon of liquid rennet and then mix 3.7L of milk with 1 1/4 teaspoon of citric acid. Next, heat milk to 32°C and add rennet. Cut curd into cubes and heat again to 40°C then remove whey. Knead curd and until it looks like an actual mozzarella ball. Now you are ready to eat !
Remember that there are various numbers of mozzarella recipes over the internet, choose one that suits you the most!
We hope that we have managed to convince you that preparing home-made mozzarella is easy, cost-effective and rewarding. Remember that special equipment and quality products are the key to success!
1 Gallon of milk (make sure that the milk you use is not ultra pasteurized)
1.5 tsp of Citric acid
1 tsp of Cheese salt (you can adjust to your likings)
1/4 tsp of liquid rennet
First using liquid rennet just add 1/4 of a tablespoon to the water, now set the mixture aside to use it in the recipe later.
Now add 1 and a half tablespoon of citric acid to a cup of cool water, then pour that into a pot.
Pour your milk into the pot as well and start mixing it quickly with the citric acid mixture.
Now as you approach the 90°F (32°C) you will be able to notice that your milk is starting to curdle. (If there is a problem with milk forming a curd you can increase the temperature by a few degrees)
As the milk starts to curdle remove the pot from the burner and add the rennet to the milk, Stir it in for around 30 seconds and then stop.
Cover your pot and leave it for 5 minutes.
When this time passes check the curd, it should look a little bit like custard with a clear separation between the whey and curds.
If the whey is still milky or the curd is too soft you can let it sit longer and leave it for a couple more minutes.
You can start to cut the curds into a 1" squared pattern.
Place your pot back onto the stove and heat it up to 105°F (40.5°C) (or 110°F, 43.3°C if you will be stretching your curds in a hot water bath rather than using a microwave) while it's heating up, slowly stir the curds.
When it reaches 105°F take the pot off the burner and keep stirring it for about 2-5 minutes.
Now you can scoop the curds into a microwave safe bowl or a colander. (if the curd gets too soft let it sit for a couple minutes)
As you transferred the curd into your bowl gently press it with your hand to squeeze ot as much whey as it is possible.
Place the curds into the microwave for 1 minute.
In this process more whey can separate from the curd so drain it off like you did previously.
Work the cheese with your hands or a spoon until it's cool enough to touch it. (you can use rubber gloves as the cheese can be very hot)
Microwave the cheese 2 more times for around 30 seconds each and repeat the kneading process again. (While doing so, make sure to drain off all of the whey that may still be separating from the curd)
Now keep on kneading your cheese as you would do with your pasta dough or bread. Knead the cheese until its smooth.
Before you finish you can add some salt to taste. If the cheese is hot enough at this point you cant start stretching it (if it isn't hot enough then place it in the microwave for another 30 seconds, repeat the same process as you did before and then start stretching it)
After you stretched your mozzarella knead it back into a ball, let it cool down and it is ready to eat!